The latest on Alabama football transfer Tyler Harrell's injury from Nick Saban

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

When Tyler Harrell will make his debut for Alabama football remains to be seen, but it isn't expected to be this week.

Nick Saban, while speaking on the SEC coaches teleconference, said Harrell won't play Saturday. Harrell hasn't been able to practice this week as Alabama (2-0) prepares to face Louisiana Monroe (1-1) on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium (3 p.m., SEC Network).

"He's kind of day-to-day with this foot that he has," Saban said. "Hopefully he will be back sometime soon."

Harrell has been dealing with a sprained foot. He was seen on the sideline of the Utah State game in the opener wearing a boot.

Harrell is one of Alabama's five transfers added in the offseason in addition to Jermaine Burton (Georgia), Eli Ricks (LSU) Jahmyr Gibbs (Georgia Tech) and Tyler Steen (Vanderbilt).

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Harrell caught 18 passes at Louisville in 2021 for 523 yards and six touchdowns. That was a whopping 29.1 yards per catch. He brings blazing speed, as shown in the 4.24 40-yard dash he ran at Louisville's pro day. The NFL Combine record is 4.22.

"I do think he’s a guy that, because of his speed, can help us," Saban said in August. "I think he’s got to continue to make progress, and we’re certainly working with him. And he’s had a great attitude about doing it. And we’ll just sort of keep on keeping on with him."

Alabama could use the speed right now. The receivers had trouble getting open and creating separation against Texas in the narrow victory. It doesn't seem that Alabama has a receiver whose speed scares a defense right now, and that has limited the offense.

If Harrell can return soon, that could greatly change the dynamics of the offense. Having a vertical threat will give more space for the running game as safeties have to respect the deep ball. That will also open up more for other receivers to work underneath.